Chapter 30: I Mean No Harm
Thankfully, Calian reached Teinansha Street before sunrise. However, he was certainly not in his best state. He had walked into the street practically lying down on Raven’s back.
A few people—they must have either woken up early or not slept at all—were walking on the street in their mage’s robes. Those who saw the suspicious person who was shriveled up on the back of a black horse flinched and backed away. Every time this happened, Raven’s hooves clacked on the pavement with a subtle sense of pride. He must have been reminded of attracting everybody’s attention during the march.
Calian, who was still lying down on Raven’s back, mumbled in defeat. “This isn’t the good kind of attention. Stop being so proud of it. It’s actually embarrassing me.”
After finishing everything that he needed to do, all the exhaustion and pain hit Calian at once. He had gathered what little mana he had to use his aura. Even though he took his medicine, he was at his limit. He was left with no other choice but to use Raven’s back as a bed. It was a good thing that Raven was so smart. If he hadn’t returned to the Royal Road by himself, they wouldn’t have made it back on time.
Not long after, they arrived at the Mages’ Union headquarters that Alan had mentioned. When Calian stumbled into the building, the mages joyously greeted him. Euria, the leader of the Mages’ Union, came down herself and showed Calian into a room on the fourth floor.
It was a small study that could also be used to welcome guests. All kinds of books about magic filled the bookshelves that lined the walls. A knife ornament on the desk caught Calian’s eyes. It was oddly similar to the one that Calian had.
Alan was sitting on the couch. He was waiting for Calian without sleeping. Calian was so glad to see Alan after his long night and had to swallow his tears of gratefulness.
Alan gaped as he stared at Calian’s worn-out appearance. “Did you get into a fight? Where in the world did you lose all your clothes?”
Calian laughed. “I didn’t get into a fight. About my clothes… it’s a long story.”
He had only put up a front to threaten the men at the gambling grounds, and technically didn’t get into a fight. Alan scrunched up his nose, presumably from the foul smell of the gambling grounds that had oozed into Calian’s clothes. He snapped his finger. A fresh gust of air surrounded Calian and he instantly felt refreshed. Calian was overjoyed to know that it was cleaning magic.
“Thank you,” said Calian as he plopped onto the couch across Alan.
Alan closed the book that he was holding. “Did you finish everything that you needed to do?”
“Yes, for now. I think I’d have to come back out again in about a month.”
Alan nodded. He would be willing to bring Calian outside next month as well.
Alan let go of his book in the air. To Calian’s surprise, the book fluttered away like a bird and nested itself into the bookshelf.
Alan saw Calian marveling at the book and explained, “A spell has been cast on the building. It allows you to move objects where you wish. Mages are very inactive creatures, you see.”
“That’s quite something.”
“Yes, even though it was probably more trouble to cast a spell on the whole building. That’s just what mages do, so don’t worry about it.”
Calian laughed. He glanced at the object that had caught his eye earlier.
“But that knife isn’t something that mages don’t really use.” commented Calian.
Alan followed Calian’s gaze and stared at the knife for a little too long.
“You’re right. There’s… a knife,” he said in a strangely unsettling voice.
Alan smiled bitterly. Calian turned towards Alan, slightly confused.
Although the object was sitting there like it was nothing, Euria held this treasure more valuable than her life. It was none other than Sispanian’s own creation. It was a magic device that warned of someone’s hidden weapon in the form of a desk ornament.
In other words, the fact that there was a knife ornament on the desk signified that Calian currently had a knife hidden away.
“It’s something that shouldn’t be there.” Alan’s eyes sunk. “When people age, many things are supposed to change… but it seems that curiosity still thrives in me.”
Calian’s face filled with confusion once again. Instead of explaining any further, Alan prepared his mana.
“As I have just told you, the objects in this room can move according to my will. All I need is to know how to connect my will to them, so there’s nothing difficult about it,” Alan continued.
Calian still couldn’t understand why Alan was saying all this. He was about to suggest that Alan slept a little, but could not get the words out.
“I wish people’s minds worked the same way—easily moved and understood.”
Calian couldn’t get the words out because he saw the knife ornament slowly being lifted of the desk.
“But that is the one thing that can never be done.”
The blade, which was sharper than needed be for an ornament, slowly turned towards Calian.
Calian narrowed his eyes. “Teacher—”
“If this is my only way of opening your mind, so be it.”
Calian thought it was a joke. However, Alan didn’t stop.
The knife flew into Calian’s neck. Calian’s hand moved instinctively.
The deafening sound of two blades striking each other rang throughout the study.
Complete silence settled in.
He stared at the knife that was in Calian’s hand, the knife that was deflected into the wall—
And at Calian’s eyes that were as sharp as the knife’s blade.
Calian stared at Alan without a word, and Alan gazed back in silence.
It was Alan who broke the silence first.
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